The Last Winter Movie Review

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The Last Winter stars Ron Perlman as an oilman whose corporate intentions threaten the pristine icy setting. Pretty soon, people start dying. A scared and dwindling set of survivors are set against the frigid north. At first no one knows what the source of the problem is, except that it comes from the ice. I liked The Last Winter a lot, because the terror was largely psychological. Make no mistake, there is a lot of gore/grossness, but it starts really slowly and builds up to it.

Subtract points for a little heavy-handed “don’t spoil nature” message. Add points for the suspense and building dread. Compare and contrast with these other horror movies and tv.

See it for the excellent slow-building mood and fine characters

paramecium etching

Fortitude Season 1 TV Review

Fortitude Season 1 is beautiful but terrible

From Amazon.com: Fortitude is the most northerly town in the world, and the most peaceful – until a prominent member of the community is found eviscerated in his own home, and suddenly the town’s sheriff has his first ever murder to investigate.

It was filmed in Iceland, which means it’s cold, white, and gorgeous.

Spoilers!

The pure white snow means when something bleeds, that blood becomes really stark and obvious. True to most horror flicks, there are epic amounts of blood. In a surprise twist that I saw coming a mile away, the source of the horror comes from the thawing mammoth discovered under the ice.

That’s right, it came from the ice, thawed, and wreaked havoc on the small population it encountered, as though the purity of the landscape was disrupted by something unclean and dangerous. The horrible parasite thawed out of the mammoths, laid eggs in human hosts, and ate them alive. Gross!

Compare and contrast with these other snowy horror movies and tv.

See it for the pristine beauty of the Icelandic setting

Alien Movie Review

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Alien is a one of my all-time favorite movies. In the 1979 classic starring Tom Skerrit and Sigourney Weaver, the alien is capable of huge transformation throughout its life cycle, starting as a “face hugger” and turning into a more traditional monster; people on a remote and isolated outpost are terrorized; one by one, despite their best efforts, they meet their doom. What could be colder and more isolating than outer space? I consider this as more horror than science fiction, though really it’s a lovely merge of the two.

Then there’s the sticky (hah hah) topic of the face-hugger and what it really represents. A lot has been written about the role of rape and gender in the Alien franchise:

It’s all true. The symbolism basically knocks you over the head, but it’s fresh, new symbolism, so that’s okay. Fantastically weird sets and alien designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger really make you feel like you’re in an alien (hah hah) environment.

There’s a delicious sense of everyman in the characters. This first of the series is sometimes called “Truckers in Space”. Everyone is there for a commission; they aren’t your typical action heroes chosen for amazing technical abilities or heroism. Everyone is relatable as a normal Joe/Jane, just out there to finish a job and collect their money. The second installation in the series, Aliens, would be “Soldiers in Space”. I think Alien is the better movie because the characters are more subtle and believable.

At merely seven characters–nine if you consider the ship (Mother) and the alien–it’s an amazingly slim cast, but all of them play an important part. Sigourney Weaver kills it as the feminist heroine, taking control and surviving when nobody else can sort their asses from their elbows. I even like Veronica Cartwright, who played the hysterical woman. She played other hysterical women in other movies later in her career, notably, The Witches of Eastwick.

My boyfriend thought the movie was slow. That’s how movies were made before the instant gratification/jump-cut era took hold. Movies had details, and subtlety.

Finally, an analysis I really loved, all about the fonts in Alien:
Typeset In The Future: The Alien Edition

See it, for the love of all that’s good in movies.